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Latin America and the Caribbean

Unemployment rates are falling—but what about youth and women?

Tamar Manuelyan Atinc's picture

Persistently high unemployment rates continue to trouble policymakers in developed and developing countries alike—but the recent Job Trends report brings some good news. After successive years of disappointing labor market performance, several countries in Eastern Europe may finally be turning the corner. These countries suffered most during the financial crisis, so the recovery in job creation is much needed to boost family incomes. In the rest of the developing world, the headlines are positive even while we see some moderation in employment and wage growth in Latin America and East Asia.

I have two concerns at this stage. I suspect most observers of the world economy share my first concern that the incipient recovery is fragile, given the continuing economic turmoil in Europe. But I am also concerned with what’s happening with specific groups, such as youth and women. I have a hunch that the recovery is and will be uneven with youth, women and the less skilled having a harder time finding jobs—even if aggregate numbers show steady gains. The crisis hit young workers hard, particularly young men, and countries are dealing with long-term consequences. Unfortunately, few countries know what’s happening with groups of workers because the data are not collected routinely or if they are, the results are available only with a relatively long lag time.

Where recent data are available, the story is mixed. Although youth unemployment remains alarmingly high at 20-30 percent,

Latin America: more public-private partnerships needed to improve infrastructure

Jordan Schwartz's picture

Latin America: more public-private partnerships needed to improve infrastructure

There are three people in Latin American and the Caribbean who care about Public-Private Partnerships or PPPs as they’re widely known. You may have met them. You might even be one. In case not, let me introduce you...

First and foremost, please meet Madame Minister of Finance. She’s busy, she’s stressed and she’s always balancing two concerns that run counter to each other, at least in the short run: growth and budget. Private investment in services might help one without hurting the other.

Shakira brings hope for kids in Latin America (and some glamour to the World Bank...)

Saadia Iqbal's picture

In a place full of economists and other nerdy types, glamour is hard to come by. That's right, I'm talking about the World Bank (with the exception of the Youthink! team, of course).

So, it was pretty exciting when pop superstar Shakira visited the other day.

Even more exciting, though, is the project that Shakira came to launch: a $300 million partnership with the World Bank to invest in children in the Latin America and Caribbean region.